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Commentary and analysis of Ohio criminal law and whatever else comes to mind, served with a dash of snark.  Continue Reading »


Case Update

Expect a deluge of decisions from SCOTUS when it goes back into session on Monday.  Maybe.  If not, I'm sure the Ohio Supreme Court decisions will give me plenty to write about.  Like they didn't last week; their only output was futzing around with scheduling a few more executions.  By the way, for those of you who keep track of those things, there have been 18 people executed so far this year.  Ohio is the only non-southern state to have killed anyone, with five; Texas leads with nine, and Oklahoma, Louisiana, Virginia, and Florida each have one.  We've already matched our output from last year, when we were again the only non-southern state to execute anybody.

In the courts of appeals...

Civil.  Plaintiff's minor decedent killed in one-car accident after defendants furnish him alcohol at their house, then tell him to leave; 6th District says there's no cognizable cause of action against defendants... Interlocutory orders are merged into final judgment, need not be specified in notice of appeal, 2nd District says... 5th District says that obtaining transcript for objections to magistrate's ruling doesn't extend time for filing objections...

Criminal.  2nd District reminds us that juvenile adjudication can form the basis of a weapons under disability charge... Despite trial court's statement that it "would not hesitate to impose maximum, consecutive sentences" if defendant went to trial instead of accepting plea offer, 10th District holds that comment didn't render defendant's guilty plea involuntary... In post-conviction relief proceeding, defendant not entitled to discovery or expenses for experts, 8th District holds... Decision to accept or reject plea bargain lies within "sound discretion of trial court," 12th District rules... 2nd District reaffirms its holding that statute allowing judge to retain civil jurisdiction over defendant declared incompetent and not restorable within required time is unconstitutional; case pending before Supreme Court... Counsel's prediction that defendant wouldn't get jail time if he pled to charge was not a representation, doesn't entitle defendant to vacate plea, says 12th District... 10th District reverses sentence of community control for 2nd degree felony, says judge didn't make necessary findings to overcome presumption of imprisonment... Picky, picky:  12th District says that trial court erred in sentencing defendant to "up to" three years of post-release controls, when PRC was a mandatory three years...

Handy Tips for Criminals #78 is provided this week by the 6th District's decision in State v. DewittIf you're going to rob a local pharmacy, it's probably better if you're not wearing a GPS tracking device as a condition of your bond on the charge of robbing a veteran's home.  The same case provides a handy tip for appellate counsel:  if your client received consecutive sentences, at least raise the issue of whether Ice v. Oregon implicitly overruled State v. Foster.  That's received extensive treatment here and elsewhere, and the Ohio Supreme Court has a case on that very issue.  There's no reason to file an Anders brief in that situation; you've got to do what you can to preserve the issue.


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